- Our Town
MP visits Bowen Island
On Friday and Saturday, August 24 and 25, MP John Weston came to Bowen for his team's annual best practices conference. The time on the island also included a visit to the Orchard Recovery Centre, kayaking in Mannion Bay (a.k.a. Deep Bay) and participating in the Rotary Run for Rwanda as well as Bowfest.
"I love Bowen so when my staff expressed interest in having our annual best practices conference here, I was delighted," Weston said, stopping for a chat on his way from the Bowfest parade to his stint in the dunk tank. "We began our two-day meeting in the municipal offices. The mayor and councillors weren't there but this illustrates the good relationship between my team and the local council that opens all sorts of opportunities to work together for the good of Bowen."
After what Weston called a "productive session," the team headed to the Orchard Recovery Center, a private residential drug rehab and alcohol addiction treatment center located on Bowen Island. "The Orchard played a pivotal part in getting my very first private members bill passed," Weston explained. "Carrie De Jong, who used to work there, had organized a meeting together with her husband Richard De Jong, who is with the RCMP and has a career in teaching about substance abuse problems. They educated me and, most importantly, they inspired me to get that bill passed. It was through meeting recovering addicts that really turned the tide in my emotional commitment."
Weston brought his staff to the Orchard in connection to a different initiative. "What we are working on springs from the same foundation. It's a national drug take-back day where people across Canada can focus on getting rid of unnecessary prescription drugs that can be a new source of abuse." Weston added that he again received "wise counsel" from the people at the recovery centre.
The next stop for team Weston highlighted another concern Bowen Islanders have brought to the MP's attention. "We got into kayaks and paddled to Mannion Bay where I showed them first hand the abandoned vessels we have been working on for some time," Weston said. "It's good for them to understand how beautiful the bay is and the extent of the problem." Weston added that he met Michael [Lightbody], who is involved with a group of neighbours seeking to improve the situation, and received an update.
Weston also participated in the Rotary Run for Rwanda. "I did the 10k run that benefits the Komera Project that was initiated by Margaret Butler from Bowen Island," he said. "I like to promote health and fitness." Weston mentioned the National Health and Fitness Day bill that will be introduced on September 24 and that has been endorsed by the Bowen Island council. "We are going to have a parade on August 29 in West Vancouver to celebrate the bill," Weston said. "I would like to invite all Bowen people to come out and join me."